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claimed that Reynard had been viewed by some
uThose damned foot people again! I'll bet a
tenner they've headed him back!5' sneered Croplady,
whose contempt for the lower classes was only equalled
by his infatuation for a title. (His family were old-
established solicitors in Downfield, but Nigel was too
great a swell to do much work in his father's office,
except to irritate the clients, many of whom were
farmers, with his drawling talk and dandified
"Gome on, Snowball!3' exclaimed Brand wick,
shaking his corpulent white steed into a canter, and
away he went along the main-ride, ramming his hat
down on his head with the hand that held his whip
and scattering mud in every direction.
"Chuckle-headed old devil! Mad as a hatter
but as kind-hearted as they make 5em?" said Stephen,
watching him as he dipped in and out of the hollows
with his coat-tails flapping over his horse's wide rump.
And without any undue haste he started off along
one of the smaller rides with myself and my hireling
at his heels,
Everybody hustled away into the wood except the
stolid secretary and two other knowledgeable veterans.
Having made up their minds that the fox would stick
to the covert, they remained stock-still like equestrian
statues, watching for him to cross the middle-ride.
They were right. Fox-hunting wiseacres usually are
(though it was my wilful habit in those days to regard
everyone who preferred going through a gate to
floundering over a fence as unworthy of the name of
Later on, while Stephen and I were touring the
covert with our ears open, we overtook a moody faced